The Olympia Cycle & Ski website has moved.

The new address is

(You may have to hit refresh after going to the new address in order to load the new site)

Please update your bookmark.

Thanks, and happy riding!

Olympia Cycle & Ski, 1813 Portage Ave

Monday, January 31, 2011

Arrowhead 135 - that's a wrap!

Updated (read further below):

(Note: For the next couple of days we'll leave this posting at the top of the page, so scroll further down to read other new postings as they're added)

Our friends Lindsay Gauld, Ian Hall, and Dallas Sigurdur are through competing in the gruelling Arrowhead 135.

Update: Lindsay is thru to the finish, just squeezing into the top 10! He has however thought better of his plans to turn around and ride the whole thing back to the start line. Ian is also now across the finish line just 4 places further back, and Dallas decided to pull the plug last night after a valiant effort. You can read more, and check out some good pics, by clicking on the link to Hal's updates.

The official race site (click on the result link in the upper left corner of the race site home page to view check point and finish times) should have some more info soon.

If you haven't checked it out already scroll further down this blog or click here to view a video of a recent training ride the guys went on, or here to read about last year's Arrowhead adventure.

Finally, be sure to check back here following the event to read race reports which we'll post as they're received.

News: Ski Trails report

Another ski conditions report came in over the weekend from our friends at Riding Mountain National Park. Check it out.

Specials: Fort Whyte Alive Promo

Check out the promo we have with Fort Whyte Alive, on until the end of the ski season. The poster below pretty much says it all. Click on the poster to enlarge if your eye sight ain't what it used to be.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Product Review: Kryptonite Stronghold Anchor

If you're looking for an anchor point to lock up your steed and there's nothing obvious to loop your lock through then consider purchasing the Kryptonite Stronghold Security Anchor. It's a pretty simple device. Use the supplied concrete bolts (and masonry bit) to fasten the anchor down to the pavement or against a wall, or use your own bolts to attach the anchor to, say, your truck bed. Then simply loop your bike's lock through the steel shackle. The shackle sits flat and inset when not in use for a nice clean look.

This device can add a great secondary layer or security for your bikes if they're typically stored in your garage - local statistics reveal that up to half of Winnipeg home and property thefts happen in garages. If you use this device and your garage is broken into the thieves still won't be able to easily ride away with your bike.

Arrowhead 135 Training Video

If you're interested in getting a sense of what it looks like to do the Arrowhead 135 (scroll down to the post immediately below to read more about Lindsay, Ian, and Dallas' upcoming adventures) view this brief video, taken during a recent training ride. Then imagine riding in terrain and cold like this (night and day) for 20 - 60 hours. Yup, it's crazy!

Video gratiously produced and supplied by Tom Kolesnick:

Events: Arrowhead 135 2011

If you think you've had a few cold mornings during your morning commute recently we've got just the thing to put things in perspective for you: The Arrowhead 135. You may recall that last year we followed founder and former owner of Olympia Cycle & Ski, Lindsay Gauld, as he competed in the long distance, backwoods, winter endurance event. Well he's back at it this weekend for the 2011 edition, along with two friends, Ian Hall and Dallas Sigurdur (Ian will be riding and Dallas will be running - there's also a ski option).

Shortly before the event begins this weekend we hope to receive GPS tracking data from Lindsay and Dallas which will be posted here and updated in real time for all to follow (if it all works properly).

In the mean time you can read Lindsay's account of last year's event here and visit the official Arrowhead 135 site here. For more pics of Lindsay's adventure last year (supplied by Andy Lockery) click here.

More to come...

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Events: Bikecicle 2011

Below is info sent to us today from our slightly southern friends, inviting anyone interested to join in on the fun Feb 12th (read below or click on the image to view the full-sized PDF).

Greetings fellow cycling enthusiasts!

It seems fitting that the high temperature today is not slated to break zero degrees fahrenheit here in Grand Forks and I'm sending this message out to announce the second year of UND Cycling's infamous Bikecicle race (that's bike+icicle, doncha know). The details are below and on the attached flyer:

Bikecicle 2011
Saturday, February 12th 2011
Registration: Online or at The Blue Moose, East Grand Forks, MN from 12:00-1:15 PM
2 lap race starts at 1:30
3 lap race starts at 2:30
Prizes two deep for all categories, plus prize for best costume
ALL the info:

- We're running a sanctioned USA Cycling race this year, but even though the race categories may look a little odd, rest assured that anyone who wants to race either distance will be able to, and you will not need to buy a USAC license.

- Also new this year is online pre-registration through the USA Cycling website. See for a link to online registration instructions. All online fees will be covered by UND Cycling.

- We're working on getting shirts to include with registration or to sell for a small fee. More details as we get closer to February.

- Interested in volunteering? Reply to this message and let us know! We need course marshals and registration assistance.

Wishing everyone safe travels, and especially pulling for anyone going to compete in the Arrowhead 135 at the end of the month!

- Matt Burton-Kelly
UND Cycling Race/Event Coordinator

PS. Remember the other events going on in the near future:
- Sunday, January 30th in Fargo: B-B-BRRR Winter Classic in Fargo, ND (
- Saturday, February 26th in Grand Forks: Extreme North Dakota Iceman Triathlon in Grand Forks, ND (

Friday, January 21, 2011

Product Review: Niner Cogs

As the single speed craze has matured into an accepted, mainstream alternative option to 3 x 9's, 1 x 9's, 2 x 10's, and so on, so have the component options. There are now a number of 'mainstream' manufacturers catering to single speed needs, like Niner. Not only can you get a number of frames from Niner designed either specifically as single speeders or adaptable from geared to single speed and back again, but they're also making some really sweet single speed cogs.

Surly and Chris King both already make great single speed cogs with nice, wide bases that won't chew up your freehub body like other, cheaper varieties, but it's nice to have another playing in the market. On a purely aesthetic level it's cool to have an option that isn't just bare metal (not that there's anything wrong with that). Coolest of all though is that the Niner cogs have slightly offset teeth so that of you flip the cog around you get a slightly different chainline (that is to say that the teeth are offset from the centre of the cog's base). We're not aware that anyone else has done this. (Editor's note: I'm too lazy to surf over to the Chris King site to confirm, but I know that my 2-3 year old King cogs on my own bike is not offset. Editor's 2nd note: Okay, I got off my butt and actually took a look at my King cogs, and it appears they are in fact offset - so now you have another option for quality, offset, wide based cogs).

We have a few tooth counts in stock now.

Product Review: Sram 2 x 10

A funny thing is happening in the mountain bike world. More and more folks are realizing that, for some applications at least, a 'traditional' 3 x 9 gear set-up may be overkill. After years of having 3 gears up front (this has pretty much been the standard since the earliest days of mountain biking, and at first was one of the main features to distinguish the mountain bike from its 2 chainring'd on-road cousins) some riders are moving to just 2 chainrings.

It's worth pointing out that in the early days we only had 5 or 6 cogs in the rear, so by adding a 3'rd chainring up front we had 15 or 18 gears instead of 10 or 12. That's a huge difference in range. Now that drivetrain design has advanced to the point that we can have a 10 speed cassette in the rear we can eliminate 1 of the 3 chainrings up front and still have 20 gears!

What's more, the 20 gears have a much more 'usable' range with less gear ratio overlap. For those who have never stopped to think about it, some of the gear combinations in a 3 x 9 set-up are virtually wasted because more than 1 combination provides nearly the same ratio, meaning that some combinations are almost redundant. In other words, you don't really have 27 gearing choices. Confused? Read bike tech legend Sheldon Brown's explanation here, or calculate the ratios on your own bike's set up by going here to see which combinations are redundant.

Many riders have recognized this inefficiency for years and as rear cassettes expanded more folks have ditched one of their chainrings up front, but the new 2 x 9 home made set up wasn't optimal. If you changed the circumference of the two remaining chainrings to provide a more optimal range you would likely alter the alignment of shifting ramps, creating less than perfect up and down shifting. Moving to a 2 chainring setup may also detrimentally affect the chain line in your most commonly used gears, and trying to address chain line issues by adjusting the bottom bracket width (and in turn the driveside crank position) can have a negative impact on your q-factor. Don't know what we're talking about? Don't worry, because the folks at Sram do, and they've created a new product line that addresses these issues and works well right out of the box.

Introduced last year on the super high end XX group, 2 x 10 speed shifting is now available on X0, X9, and X7 groups as well, making the set-up much more attainable for most riders. In the process of addressing gearing inefficiencies the folks at Sram have also developed a range of drivetrains that are lighter and simpler than their predecessors. Not bad. They've put together a website specific to their 2 x 10 line here.

While we won't write the obit for the 3 x 9 drivetrain just yet (and while we don't think there's a necessity to ditch what you've got if it's working well for you) we do wonder if 2 x 10 is the beginning of a new standard that will eventually trickle down to most mountain bikes. If you're an early adopter come into the shop and check out the 2 x 10 stuff we've got in and/or can order in. Maybe it's for you.

News: Ski Trails report

Another report from Riding Mountain just arrived - check it out here if you're planning to head northwest...and for heaven's sake bring some warm clothes.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

News: VeloNews Buyer's Guide 2011

The 2011 VeloNews Buyer's Guide is here!...but it won't be for long. This annual publication sells out quickly every year, and with good reason. If you want to read all about the latest bikes, gear, clothes, and so on this is your invaluable resource.

With great pictures, in-depth articles, and a ton of info this is the go-to buyer's guide for mountain and road bike info. Pick up yours today!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

News: Ski Trails report

Another Ski Report from our friends in Riding Mountain just came in - check it out here if you plan to head northwest for a weekend of skiing or snowshoeing.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Product Review: Nordic Ski Bag

This is a pretty straight forward product, but it's still with mentioning here. If you've ever struggled with carrying your skis and poles to the trailhead, or even from the house to the car, you'd appreciate being able to just throw everything into a ski bag and easily toting everything at once.

What's more, our Nordic Ski Bags can fit two complete sets of skis and poles (and a wax kit) so you can make your partner carry everything.

For just $30 it's a great investment in your skiing enjoyment - they're in stock now!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Bike Feature: Niner Air 9

(click on images for larger view)

The company name is "Niner" so they better make a good 29er! Actually, that's all they make. Niner produces hardtails, rigid framesets, dual suspension, and single speeds, using steel, aluminum, scandium, and carbon fiber, so they offer plenty of options, but they're all rolling on 29 inch wheels.

Pictured here is recently built up Niner Air 9. Arguably their most successful model (though not the 'highest end' - there's also now the Air Carbon 9) the Air 9 is an uncompromising, race ready frame that looks completely at home built up with the very best components. Pictured here it's built up with Sram X.0, a Fox fork, Stan ZTR Arch rims and DT Swiss 240 hubs, and many other nice bits (like matching blue anodized Double Ti Crank Brother's Egg Beater pedals and blue anodized spoke nipples). However, the frame is such a great price - just $800 - that it can be built up much more economically as well and come in as a complete package for a good, mid-range price (Niner just sells frames and framesets, along with other accessories, so either you dig up parts out of your basement or we can work with you to build one up together).

There's plenty of detailed info we could give you about the bike but instead we'll just send you to the Niner site here for further reading, and simply tell you that the ride is amazing! Mountain Bike magazine calls it "the best handling hardtail 29er we’ve ever ridden" and we're not about to argue. Actually, a part time employee here has reviewed this frame before in more detail and you can check out what he has to say here. None the less we liked the build pictured above so much we figured it was worth a 2nd posting.

If you're really tempted we happen to have a really sweet looking Air 9 frame, size large, exactly like what's pictured above but in 'raw' (bare Scandium with a really nice clear coat). Nice! It's waiting to be built up.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Product Review: Rolling Darryl rims

(Click on images for larger view)

Check out these brand new Surly Pugsley rims, Rolling Daryll's, that just arrived. The pictures here don't do them complete justice - you need to see their 82mm width in person for full appreciation. As a point of comparison the already huge Large Marge rim that most Puglsey's currently use are 65mm.

The Rolling Daryll is single wall with a deep bed for the tire bead to sit in and weighs 850g versus about 980g for the large marge xc version. That means the Rolling Daryll is designed more specifically for snow or sand where width is important but some of the Large Marge cross country riding super-strength can be compromised in order to save weight.

The Rolling Daryll rims are drilled with 64 spoke holes so that they are compatible with any fat bike out there: Lace them offset 17.5mm for pugsleys and fatbacks or symmetrical with the spoke holes offset from the center of the rim for mukaluks and others (the one pictured above is a front built for a mukaluk).

These rims are so limited that we are only allowed to order 4 per week - come and check 'em out while we've got 'em in.

For more pics of the rims built up and with tires click here and here.

Friday, January 7, 2011

C'dale Flash 29er Carbon 2

(Click on pics for larger image - thanks to Liam for the great shots)

The 2011 Cannondale Flash 29er carbon 2 has just arrived. It came thru our doors yesterday morning and by the end the day it was built up and waiting for a home. This is a superb bike for enduro mountain biking, whether you're competitive or just like going for long rides on a really nice bike. The Sram X.9 drivetrain with FSA SL-K BB30 crankset, carbon PBR Lefty 90mm front suspension and Stan's ZTR Arch 29er rims (among other choice parts) are nothing to sneeze at, but it's the whole package put together that really gets us going. It's just a great looking and riding bike.

It's also worth pointing out the excellent frame, with "micro-suspension". Yah, it kinda sounds like a gimmick, but trust us, it's not (and we can be pretty cynical). Check out what Cannondale has to say about their micro-suspension after the jump.

For $4300 this race-ready 29er can be yours!


Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Product Review: XTR PDM980 Pedal

XTR is one of those brand lines that just gets better with every revision. Case in point: The brand new XTR PDM980 pedal. It's 15 grams lighter than its predecessor but somehow manages to increase pedal body rider contact 270% but reportedly also allows for better debris "flow through". All this, and the new model price remains unchanged from the previous model, at $270. Wow. All of the new data, copied from the XTR site, is pasted below the pic:

•The body has improved mud shedding capabilities due to an oval shaped axle body housing, a more slim profile to the axle body, and offset bindings to allow debris to better flow through the pedal
•Power transfer efficiency is improved by increasing shoe and pedal body contact by 270% over PD-M970.
•Wider bearing placement also provide great pedaling stability and bearing durability
•The new axle body is also lighter, reducing weight by 15g vs. PD-M970
•Continues to offer trademark SPD clipless pedal performance
•Estimated weight: 310g/pr

Product Review: Swix T72 Iron

The Swix T72 digital iron is a professional tool that you can own and use even if you're a casual skier. Do you 'need' it? Maybe not - we sell less expensive irons that get the job done, but the T72 makes waxing that much more enjoyable.

The thick sole plate and ceramic heating element in this iron keep the temperature very consistent, and of course the digital temperature control provides a quick-heating and accurate temperature.

Possibly of greatest importance the iron is very durable, and can almost certainly handle more than you can put it through, even if you're waxing many skis daily. Whether that's the case or not you can know that with the T72 you're getting the best wax available, assuming your technique is up to snuff :)

News: Ski Trails report

Our friends from the Riding Mountain National Park have sent us a trail update, here.

Also, as always you can check other local and regional cross counntry ski trail conditions on the Cross Country Ski Manitoba site here.